Love in Houston: 5 Spots for a Romantic Date
Houston is known by monikers like Space City and Magnolia city, but it's the ideal city for love. A 2015 study by Credit Donkey found it was the top spot in the nation for young couples, and the vast metropolis abounds with places to ignite love's flame. Although the Houston area could swallow up Boston, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Seattle in its 655 square miles, you don't have to worry about sifting through endless possibilities. Here's five of the best romance spots around to set the stage for amour. So, get a babysitter for the day and explore!
Romantic Picnic in the Park
There's perhaps no setting more romantic for a picnic than a waterfall, and you'll find one right in Houston. Pack a romantic picnic and head to Gerald D. Hines Waterfall Park (2800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX). More than 11,000 gallons of water each minute rush down the 64-foot face of the semicircular fountain. A forest of more than 186 live oaks surround the fountain, providing a shady spot to spread a blanket or grab a stolen kiss. A picturesque brick proscenium archway frames the curtain of water. Pose beneath it for a romantic photo or snap a selfie from the green lawn with the arches and waterfall behind you.
Take a Sunset Cruise
Set the stage for romance aboard a 117-foot luxury yacht, the Boardwalk FantaSea (#8 Kemah Boardwalk, Suite G, Kemah, TX) six miles east of Houston city limits. Plan your date for the Friday and Saturday night dinner cruises that run June through August. Steak or stuffed flounder are on the menu on Friday nights, capped off by chocolate mousse cake drizzled with white chocolate for dessert. Enjoy fireworks over Galveston Bay during this three-hour cruise. On Saturday nights, groove to a musical theme party like Motown or 80s classics accompanied by chicken Marsala or barbecued shrimp. Arrive up to an hour early to board and enjoy the boat's romantic setting before the cruise gets underway. If you've got time, check out the Kemah Boardwalk.
A Romantic Dinner Out
Brenner's on the Bayou (1 Birdsall St., Houston, TX) offers much more than just a cozy table for two. Spend time before your meal strolling the grounds hand-in-hand. Enjoy quiet conversation in a gazebo or stroll by the waterfall as you explore extensive gardens that recreate Mr. Brenner's homeland in Germany. The food hearkens back to the Old Country, too. Delights like crunchy German potatoes and apple strudel pair up nicely with entrees that include venison, duck, lobster and bison. The two-story restaurant rolls out elegant white tablecloths and open-beam ceilings inside, and outdoor patio dining that overlooks the garden and Buffalo Bayou.
Have a Twilight Epiphany
Sunsets are always romantic, but Houston serves up a unique way to share one with your significant other. James Turrell's Twilight Epiphany Skyspace at Rice University (6100 Main St., Houston, TX) plays with natural and artificial lighting to bring out a unique light show at sunrise and sunset. Up to 120 people sit on stone benches inside the mammoth structure. At the center, a square of sky is revealed by a 72-foot architectural frame upon which choreographed LED lighting melds with the colors of the sky. The Skyspace is free, but you must register online for reservations.
Tour a Romantic Winery
Haak Vineyards and Winery (6310 Avenue T, Santa Fe, TX) 18 miles south of the city has its roots firmly planted in romance. On their 10th wedding anniversary in 1969, Gladys Haak gave her husband Raymond two Concord grapevines. The two vines kindled a heartfelt passion for winemaking that has stood the test of time. Follow in the footsteps of romance as you tour the 25,000-square-foot winery tucked into the scenic Texas countryside. Artwork throughout the winery shows angels watching over the vineyards, reminiscent of that found in grape-growing regions of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece.
- Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau: Facts and Figures
- CreditDonkey: Best cities for Young Couples
- Uptown Houston: Gerald D Hines Waterwall Park
- ArchiTravel: Gerald D Hines Waterwall Park
- Kemah Boardwalk: 117' Luxury Yacht Sets Sail at Kemah Boardwalk
- Kemah Boardwalk
- Boardwalk Fantasea Yacht Charters: Calendar
- Brenner's Steakhouse: History
- Rice University: James Turrell's "Twilight Epiphany" Skyspace
- Haak Winery: History of the Winery
- City of Houston: About Houston
Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.